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Discussion Starter #1
I spent a good deal of time in this forum reading up on YOUR advice on cutting. Not that I could do your tips justice.

My experience cutting dogs' hair are 3 Mini Schnauzers and one Giant Schnauzer I've had over the years.

Discovered Bumble on Craigslist two weeks ago, could not resist going to meet him, and fell instantly in love with the BIGGEST Teddy bear I'd ever seen.

I wish I'd have taken a picture of him when we 1st got him, but his "beard" stayed pretty wet and yucky and his feet picked up dirt like a mop, so I quickly glanced at a picture of a poodle online and quickly shaved his face and feet. Neither well. He didn't like it and I was sloppy, leaving chunks around his lips and between his toes (after all, those are the two areas I'd never done with any of my Schnauzers!).

After a week of reading (especially here) and one visit to my local PetsMart groomers (I would not have had the nerve had it not been for the groomers here online offering such valuable and generous help; I had the same experience in person with the folks at PetsMart), I took the plunge yesterday.

I know I've got a LOOOOOOONG way to go, but we're pretty happy with the results. The groomers at PetsMart gave me an attaboy, saying it was good for a first and, even better, that they thought I had already invested more personal energy into grooming my dog than many folks who brought their dogs in.

I didn't mean to try it all at once, but after it took a full hour to wash him (he was very sweet, thankfully, in the tub, but his hair, soft as it seemed, repelled water like lambswool!), and another full hour for my husband, son and daughter to dry him, I decided I'd better get busy before it's dirty.

Here's some before, during and after pix:
(With my M Schnauzer, Pepper, looking on jealously)


(Husband and son took turns holding/petting and blow drying, daughter brushed)


(He was surprised to see himself all over the ground, I'm sure)


(Boy, did this Bumble BOUNCE around the yard when he was clipped!)


In the meantime, someone was generous enough to give me some detailed poodle cutting instructions (one day too late for Bumble, I'm afraid), so I may not be so confused as I struggle with the face/neck/ears next time.

It's SO warm here, summer and winter, I can't imagine Bumble wanting any of those GORGEOUS long-haired styles. The time he spent before I clipped him, he threw himself around any dirt areas (flowerbeds) or concrete and/or wet areas, all the while drinking tons of water. And he's not black!

I am sure looking forward to doing a good job by him. I do think close crops are in the future for us, esp with a morning walk that goes by a large pond (do all poodles careen toward water and jump in before even inspecting it?). My M Schnauzer thinks he's crazy. he he (Me, too, if he thinks he's coming inside again right after!)

April in Frisco, N Texas
 

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Awww looks like you guys had fun clipping your baby :) I love how it my dogs get all frisky after a groom :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, WonderPup. I should have written that YOUR comments were really helpful, and your supportive replies to everyone with tips were really encouraging. I thought, since YOU are a groomer and don't mind giving advice, maybe the groomers at PetsMart might not exactly MIND if I watched them. Heck, they invited me in and showed me books/pix and discussed blades/tools. Later, I brought my Bumble in for feedback, and they were very encouraging. 8~)

Do you brush your poodle daily? I kinda like the curls look (and am amazed at the fine, sculpted longer clips/looks), but am afraid if we don't brush him frequently (what's frequently? Weekly?), he will get mats. I don't want that for him...
 

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The groomers at petsmart don't have a choice but to let you watch LoL, I always hated that. Hated being stared at. All in the name customer sastifaction though.

No I don't brush my poodles daily since they are so short. I don't brush Jazz at all in fact, just comb out ears and tail weekly, she is really short. With Saleen I try and brush her daily but it just never works out for me and I end up doing it two or three times a week. Her coat is longer and I'm wanting to grow it out so I've got to suck it up and comb her daily. I can't lift her on the table anymore though which is the current problem, (stupid pregancy) I have to wait for my husband to do it. I don't care for the curly look myself but you wouldn't know it if you were to peek in my window right now. Both of my girls look like they have a perm because they got rained on yesterday. I'm ashamed to say that I didn't even brush Saleen yesterday which is a no no as poodles go. If you get them wet you should brush them out. How often you brush them depends on how long you keep their hair. The ears, tail and topknot should be combed several times a week. Running a comb or a slicker brush through short hair on the body definitly should be done weekly if not more often. Keep in mind that brushing stimulate the skin as well as keeps the coat maintained. It also helps brush dirt and debris away from the skin and off the hair. I'm not suggesting it will keep your dog super clean but he'l stay cleaner for a little longer :) The pom poms you clipped will also have to be brushed often, probably more often than the ears and topknot since they are so close to the ground and will get damp. I personly disliked having them on my dogs and I try and talk clients out of them when I can LoL, Just a personal thing. I hated maintaining them!! I have one standard that comes in often and his are always matted, drives me nuts lol.
 

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we always had mini schnouzers growing up and parents just got another last year actually LOVE em and bumble well I wouldn't be on the board if I didn't have a few poodles I love.
 

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wanted to add and don't take this wrong way. I can't afford a dryer right now so I went and got a small but powerful shopvac that is used just for drying. air is warm but not hot but blows the water out of them.
might be faster then a blowdryer.
try them out before buying though I have 2 one a brand name husky I think and it sucks compared to my store brand job mate from canadian tire. You want the strongest blower and NEVER use it as a vaccuum or you will blow dirt back all over your dog
 

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Nice job and good looking dogs!

I also own two Miniature Schnauzers... I really like your b/s... you can see pics of mine in the other animals section.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Checked 'em out, MericoX, and they bring back fond memories of my two black M Schnauzers. I miss them so much. I had the male, Bart, for 17 years. That sure is a long part of a 40 yr old's life, y'know. We are so lucky to have these critters -- and yours look so darling! Enjoy!
 

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You certainly did do well for a first try!!! And as you know with the schnauzers, the hair will grow back and you'll get more chances to try again! Actually, poodles coats grow quicker than a sch too usually... heh.

As for HOW often to brush, it really depends a lot on the length of the coat, but also on the TYPE of coat itself. Generally very soft coats mat up quickly and easily, and would need much more regular and thorough combing to keep knot-free. It can vary though, I've had soft-coated poodles that while they were tangled, the tangles came *right* out under the blow drier so it was never an issue! lol.

But really, the only way is to keep ontop of the combing for now, and see just how long it does take for the tangles to start forming.

I brush out Paris once a week, by then her chest is forming tangles, but they brush out easily and I'm not obsessing about growing her coat at the mo! She has several inches of coat though, and her belly & sides are very soft, whereas her neck & back are coarser and rarely tangle in a week unless she's been wearing a collar... Also note that when I brush her only once a week, I do it *thoroughly* and go over every inch of her, and it takes about a half hour.

FD
 

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Discussion Starter #10
wanted to add and don't take this wrong way.
Ha ha ha ha! Not possible.

Once, when my son was 4 and I was grooming my Schnauzer, I looked over and noticed my son's hair was pretty long. When I finished my dog and cleaned up the clippers, my son took his turn. I thought I was SO clever.

Unfortunately, it was WAY too short and I left shaggy tendrils along the edges. I figured I'd take him to a "professional groomer" to correct my mistakes, if possible.

The pre-K he attended was near a university, so many of the staff members were young college students. When I went to pick my son up, ready to dash off to a barber, I was stopped by several young women fawning all over my son, wanting to know where he got such a cool hairdo.

I should have stopped with "I did it" but thought I was so clever I should share more information -- BIG MISTAKE! Those girls were horrified about what kind of mom I am, I guess ... ahem. I never did it again (but am still warm and fuzzy about how good it looked to hip young ladies before they knew it was accomplished with dog clippers).

About the shop vac, I wonder if I used a clean filter only for dog drying if it would be okay, too? I may test it. If not, I saw one at our local resale shop for $20 yesterday, and thought: good price, but I've already got one.

8~)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow, thanks flyingduster. Your dog is beautiful! My kids are having a good time right now brushin Bumble every other day,and it seems he likes it, too (not tangles).

Since my daughter has VERY tangly, tightly curled hair, I used her cream rinse on Bumble for his first bath (we've spent years finding the best, most effective, and lease expensive for her, and I was SURE to wash out every last bit).

It was clear from his MUCH lighter color that he had been much dirtier than we first thought (also testified by the dark water that went down the tub), and he had very curly longish hair, but I guess we were lucky, because we found no knots at all (and used my daughter's brush, too, which she gave up happily for Bumble).

Maybe not a kosher approach, but we've spent so much time figuring out my daughter's hair I hoped the info we had could apply to bumble. So far, so good. I guess I have to wait for his adult hair to come in to know for sure hat we will deal with?

I haven't seen any long tails on this forum -- he came with one, and we're not planning to have it docked. Is there any rules about long, curly tail grooming?

Oh! And I like how your dog's ears are closely trimmed. Do you do this because her ears are shaped so nicely? My last dog (Giant Schnauzer) had lifelong struggles with ear infections, and I'm terrified aboout this for Bumble. We have ear cleaning/drying products we are using, in addition to pulling all his hair out with smooth sided tweezers followed by ear powder. But I couldn't help but think NO hair or extremely short hair would make the ears lighter and possibly more aired out. Your thoughts?

Thanks!
 
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